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Kobe Steel (Kobelco)

Kobelco falsifies data on its metal products

May 2018

What happened?

On October 8, 2017, Kobe Steel admitted that it had falsified the inspection data on more than 20,000 tons of metals shipped from four of its Japan-based factories to customers in the automobile and aircraft industries, and confirmed that data falsification related to manufacturing specifications requested by clients, such as tensile strength, had affected about four percent of its output between September 2016 and August 2017.

In the days following the admission, Kobe Steel’s shares fell by more than 30 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

By mid-October 2017, it was reported that Kobe Steel had also falsified data on aluminum and copper products that had been manufactured by the company’s plants in China, Malaysia, and Thailand. Between April 2007 and August 2017, the metals were allegedly shipped with false certificates to around 500 customers, including companies in the automotive, aircraft, electronic, and railway sectors.

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